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Miami s Spoelstra concedes Lakers just took control in Game 1

After a great start that saw the Heat leading by 13 in the first quarter, 23-10, the Los Angeles Lakers went on a scoring outburst in the first and second quarters that eventually swung the game in the opposite direction......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarOct 1st, 2020

Clippers, Bucks lead NBA.com 2019-20 GM Survey

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com Included in all the player movement of this past summer was the last two Finals MVPs leaving the two teams that met in the 2019 Finals. And with more balance in the distribution of superstars, the race for the 2020 NBA championship appears to be wide open. There are favorites, of course. But with so many good players in new uniforms, we don't know how all the pieces are going to fit. We still asked the league's decision-makers to take their best guesses. And in the 18th annual NBA.com GM Survey, 46 percent of general managers have picked Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to lead the LA Clippers to their first NBA title. Leonard was not only named the offseason acquisition that would make the biggest impact, but is also the first player not named LeBron James to be named the league's best small forward since 2005. In the Eastern Conference, the league's GMs like Giannis Antetokounmpo (the player that 86 percent of them would start a franchise with) and the Milwaukee Bucks, who were named the top team in the East by 76 percent of the respondents. Zion Williamson isn't only the pick to win Kia Rookie of the Year and be the best of his class in five years, but he was also named the league's most athletic player … before suiting up for an official NBA game. The GMs responded to 50 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question, rather than all 30 GMs. * * * PREDICTIONS Which team will win the 2020 NBA Finals? 1. LA Clippers -- 46% 2. Milwaukee Bucks -- 36% 3. Los Angeles Lakers -- 11% Also receiving votes: Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers Last year: Golden State – 87% Rank the top four teams in the Eastern Conference 2019-20 GM Survey, Eastern Conference rankings Last year: Ninety percent picked Boston to win the East. Order after the Celtics was Toronto, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Indiana, Washington and Miami. Rank the top four teams in the Western Conference Last year: Ninety percent picked Golden State to win the West. Order after the Warriors was Houston, Oklahoma City, Utah, L.A. Lakers, Portland/San Antonio, and Denver. PLAYERS Who will win the 2019-20 Kia MVP? 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 52% 2. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 10%     Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers -- 10%     Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 10% 5. Nikola Jokic, Denver -- 7% Also receiving votes: James Harden, Houston; LeBron James, L.A. Lakers; Damian Lillard, Portland Last year: LeBron James – 30% If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be? 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 86% 2. Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers -- 7%     Luka Doncic, Dallas -- 7% Last year: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 30% Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments? 1. James Harden, Houston -- 48% 2. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 17%     LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 17% 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 14% 5. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn -- 3% Last year: LeBron James -- 60% Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2019-20? 1. De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento -- 19% 2. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis -- 11%     Jayson Tatum, Boston -- 11% 4. Brandon Ingram, New Orleans -- 7%     Jamal Murray, Denver -- 7% Also receiving votes: Bam Adebayo, Miami; Lonzo Ball, New Orleans; Devin Booker, Phoenix; Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago; Zach Collins, Portland; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City; LeBron James, L.A. Lakers; Dejounte Murray, San Antonio; Julius Randle, New York; Tomas Satoransky, Chicago; Pascal Siakam, Toronto; Zion Williamson, New Orleans Last year: Jamal Murray -- 20% Who is the best point guard in the NBA? 1. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 90% 2. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 7% 3. LeBron James, LA Lakers -- 3% Last year: Stephen Curry -- 57% Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA? 1. James Harden, Houston – 86% 2. Paul George, LA Clippers – 7% Also receiving votes: Jimmy Butler, Miami; Klay Thompson, Golden State Last year: James Harden -- 73% Who is the best small forward in the NBA? 1. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 62% 2. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 24% 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 14% Last year: LeBron James -- 57% Who is the best power forward in the NBA? 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 59% 2. Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers -- 28% 3. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 10% 4. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio -- 3% Last year: Anthony Davis --  37% Who is the best center in the NBA? 1. Nikola Jokic, Denver -- 48% 2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia -- 28% 3. Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers -- 17% Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Last year: Anthony Davis -- 40% OFFSEASON MOVES Which team made the best overall moves this offseason? 1. LA Clippers -- 82% 2. New Orleans Pelicans -- 11% Also receiving votes: Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz Last year: L.A. Lakers – 70% Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact? 1. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 67% 2. Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers -- 21% 3. Paul George, LA Clippers -- 12% Last year: LeBron James -- 97% What was the most underrated player acquisition? 1. Mike Conley, Utah -- 36% 2. Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah -- 14% 3. Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana -- 11%     Jerami Grant, Denver -- 11% 5. Tomas Satoransky, Chicago -- 7% Also receiving votes: Lonzo Ball, New Orleans; Derrick Favors, New Orleans; Danny Green, L.A. Lakers; Chris Paul, Oklahoma City; J.J. Redick, New Orleans; Josh Richardson, Philadelphia Last year: Tyreke Evans -- 13% Which team will be most improved in 2019-20? 1. Los Angeles Lakers -- 38% 2. Dallas Mavericks -- 21% 3. LA Clippers -- 10% 4. Atlanta Hawks -- 7%     Brooklyn Nets -- 7%     Chicago Bulls -- 7%     New Orleans Pelicans -- 7% 8. New York Knicks -- 4% Last year: L.A. Lakers -- 80% What was the most surprising move of the offseason? 1. Paul George trade to LA Clippers -- 52% 2. Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade -- 28% 3. Nikola Mirotic to FC Barcelona -- 7% Also receiving votes: Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana; Al Horford to Philadelphia; Kawhi Leonard to Clippers, Marcus Morris decommitting from San Antonio Last year: DeMarcus Cousins to Golden State -- 35% ROOKIES & INTERNATIONAL Who will win the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 68% 2. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 29% 3. Darius Garland, Cleveland -- 4% Last year: Luka Doncic -- 43% Which rookie will be the best player in five years? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 68% 2. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 18% 3. Cameron Reddish, Atlanta -- 7% Also receiving votes: Jarrett Culver, Minnesota; Darius Garland, Cleveland Last year: DeAndre Ayton & Jaren Jackson Jr. -- 27% Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft? 1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (17), New Orleans -- 32% 2. Brandon Clarke (21), Memphis -- 21% 3. Goga Bitadze (18), Indiana -- 11% 4. Bol Bol (44), Denver -- 7%     Tyler Herro (13), Miami -- 7% Also receiving votes: Darius Bazley (23), Oklahoma City; Nicolas Claxton (31), Brooklyn; Daniel Gafford (38), Chicago; Darius Garland (5), Cleveland; Nasir Little (25), Portland; Cameron Reddish (10), Atlanta Last year: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander -- 27% Who is the best international player in the NBA? 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 79% 2. Nikola Jokic, Denver -- 14% 3. Luka Doncic, Dallas -- 7% Last year: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 73% Who is the best international player NOT in the NBA? 1. Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona -- 55% 2. Nando de Colo, Fenerbahce -- 21% 3. Sergio Llull, Real Madrid -- 17% Also receiving votes: Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv; Jan Vesely, Fenerbahce Last year: Sergio Llull -- 39% DEFENSE Who is the best defensive player in the NBA? 1. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 45% 2. Rudy Gobert, Utah -- 28% 3. Draymond Green, Golden State -- 10% 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 7%     Paul George, LA Clippers -- 7% 6. Anthony Davis, LA Lakers -- 3% Last year: Rudy Gobert & Kawhi Leonard -- 37% Who is the best perimeter defender in the NBA? 1. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 59% 2. Paul George, LA Clippers -- 21% Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; OG Anunoby, Toronto; Jimmy Butler, Miami; Jrue Holiday, New Orleans; LeBron James, LA Lakers; Klay Thompson, Golden State Last year: Kawhi Leonard -- 60% Who is the best interior defender in the NBA? 1. Rudy Gobert, Utah -- 93% Also receiving votes: Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Last year: Rudy Gobert -- 80% Who is the most versatile defender in the NBA? 1. Draymond Green, Golden State -- 38% 2. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 31% 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 21% Also receiving votes: Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers; Paul George, LA Clippers; Pascal Siakam, Toronto Last year: Draymond Green -- 53% Which is the best defensive team in the NBA? 1. LA Clippers -- 52% 2. Utah Jazz -- 24% 3. Milwaukee Bucks -- 17% 4. Philadelphia 76ers -- 7% Last year: Utah -- 45% COACHES Who is the best head coach in the NBA? 1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 55% 2. Erik Spoelstra, Miami -- 17% 3. Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee -- 10% 4. Steve Kerr, Golden State -- 7% Also receiving votes: Steve Clifford, Orlando; Doc Rivers, LA Clippers; Quin Snyder, Utah Last year: Brad Stevens -- 47% Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people? 1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 41% 2. Doc Rivers, LA Clippers -- 31% 3. Steve Kerr, Golden State -- 17% Also receiving votes: Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn; Mike D'Antoni, Houston; Terry Stotts, Portland Last year: Gregg Popovich -- 47% Which head coach makes the best in-game adjustments? 1. Rick Carlisle, Dallas -- 28% 2. Brad Stevens, Boston -- 17% 3. Quin Snyder, Utah -- 14% 4. Steve Clifford, Orlando -- 10%     Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 10% 6. Nick Nurse, Toronto -- 7% Also receiving votes: Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee; Michael Malone, Denver; Doc Rivers, LA Clippers; Erik Spoelstra, Miami Last year: Brad Stevens -- 53% Which head coach runs the best offense? 1. Steve Kerr, Golden State -- 38% 2. Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee -- 14%     Mike D'Antoni, Houston -- 14%     Terry Stotts, Portland -- 14% 5. Michael Malone, Denver -- 7%     Nick Nurse, Toronto -- 7%     Quin Snyder, Utah -- 7% Last year: Steve Kerr -- 40% Which head coach has the best defensive schemes? 1. Quin Snyder, Utah -- 28% 2. Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee -- 24% 3. Nate McMillan, Indiana -- 7%     Gregg Popovich, San Antonio -- 7%     Doc Rivers, LA Clippers -- 7%     Erik Spoelstra, Miami -- 7%     Brad Stevens, Boston -- 7% Also receiving votes: Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn; Dwane Casey, Detroit; Steve Clifford, Orlando; Nick Nurse, Toronto Last year: Quin Snyder -- 33% Which new or relocated head coach will make the biggest impact on his new team? 1. Monty Williams, Phoenix -- 43% 2. Frank Vogel, L.A. Lakers -- 21% 3. Luke Walton, Sacramento -- 18% 4. John Beilein, Cleveland -- 11% 5. Taylor Jenkins, Memphis -- 7% Last year: N/A Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA? 1. Dan Burke, Indiana -- 11%     Chris Finch, New Orleans -- 11%     David Vanterpool, Minnesota -- 11% 4. Darvin Ham, Milwaukee -- 7%     Alex Jensen, Utah -- 7%     Igor Kokoskov, Sacramento -- 7%     Tyronn Lue, LA Clippers -- 7%     Nate Tibbets, Portland -- 7% Also receiving votes: Ron Adams, Golden State; Chip Engelland, San Antonio; Chris Fleming, Chicago; Adrian Griffin, Toronto; Phil Handy, L.A. Lakers; Jason Kidd, L.A. Lakers; Keith Smart, New York; Ime Udoka, Philadelphia Last year: Ron Adams -- 17% Which active player will make the best head coach someday? 1. Mike Conley, Utah -- 26% 2. Chris Paul, Oklahoma City -- 19% 3. Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana -- 15% 4. Rajon Rondo, L.A. Lakers -- 11% Also receiving votes: Jalen Brunson, Dallas; Jared Dudley, L.A. Lakers; Andre Iguodala, Memphis; Kyle Korver, Milwaukee; C.J. McCollum, Portland; Doug McDermott, Indiana; Garrett Temple, Brooklyn; Lance Thomas, Brooklyn Last year: Chris Paul -- 25% MISCELLANEOUS Which team is the most fun to watch? 1. Denver Nuggets -- 31% 2. New Orleans Pelicans -- 21% 3. Golden State Warriors -- 17% 4. Milwaukee Bucks -- 10% 5. Portland Trail Blazers -- 7% Also receiving votes: Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings Last year: Golden State -- 60% Which team has the best home-court advantage? 1. Denver Nuggets -- 38% 2. Utah Jazz -- 24%     Golden State Warriors -- 24% 4. Portland Trail Blazers -- 7% Also receiving votes: Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors Last year: Golden State -- 50% Which team has the most promising young core? 1. New Orleans Pelicans -- 28% 2. Denver Nuggets -- 24% 3. Atlanta Hawks -- 17% 4. Sacramento Kings -- 10% 5. Philadelphia 76ers -- 7% Also receiving votes: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies Last year: Philadelphia -- 47% Which player is the most athletic? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 41% 2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 28% 3. Aaron Gordon, Orlando -- 7%     Derrick Jones Jr., Miami -- 7%     Mitchell Robinson, New York -- 7%     Russell Westbrook, Houston -- 7% 7. Zach LaVine, Chicago -- 3% Last year: Russell Westbrook -- 48% Which player is the best pure shooter? 1. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 86% 2. Klay Thompson, Golden State -- 11% 3. J.J. Redick, New Orleans -- 4% Last year: Stephen Curry -- 73% Which player is the fastest with the ball? 1. De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento -- 64% 2. Russell Westbrook, Houston -- 25% Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Last year: Russell Westbrook -- 50% Which player is best at moving without the ball? 1. Klay Thompson, Golden State -- 43% 2. J.J. Redick, New Orleans -- 25% 3. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 21% 4. Kyle Korver, Milwaukee -- 7% 5. C.J. McCollum, Portland -- 4% Last year: Klay Thompson -- 53% Which player is the best passer? 1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 57% 2. Nikola Jokic, Denver -- 32% 3. Chris Paul, Oklahoma City -- 7% 4. James Harden, Houston -- 4% Last year: LeBron James -- 50% What bench player makes the biggest impact when he enters the game? 1. Lou Williams, LA Clippers -- 79% 2. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers -- 7%     Fred VanVleet, Toronto -- 7% Also receiving votes: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn; Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Last year: Lou Williams -- 41% Who is the toughest player in the NBA? 1. Steven Adams, Oklahoma City -- 32% 2. Draymond Green, Golden State -- 18% 3. P.J. Tucker, Houston -- 14% 4. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 7% Also receiving votes: Aron Baynes, Phoenix; Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers; Udonis Haslem, Miami; Joe Ingles, Utah; Damian Lillard, Portland; Kyle Lowry, Toronto; Marcus Smart, Boston; Klay Thompson, Golden State Last year: Steven Adams -- 33% Which player is the best leader? 1. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 41% 2. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 37% 3. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 15% Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Last year: LeBron James -- 30% Who is the most versatile player in the NBA? 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee -- 46% 2. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 39% 3. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 7% Also receiving votes: Paul George, LA Clippers; Nikola Jokic, Denver Last year: LeBron James -- 63% Which player has the best basketball IQ? 1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 64% 2. Nikola Jokic, Denver -- 11% 3. Chris Paul, Oklahoma City -- 7%     Rajon Rondo, L.A. Lakers -- 7% Also receiving votes: James Harden, Houston; Al Horford, Philadelphia; Andre Iguodala, Memphis Last year: LeBron James -- 70% Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line? 1. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 44% 2. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn -- 11%     Damian Lillard, Portland -- 11%     Klay Thompson, Golden State -- 11% 5. Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn -- 7%     Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 7% Also receiving votes: James Harden, Houston; LeBron James, L.A. Lakers Last year: Kevin Durant -- 40% What rule (regarding play, Draft/Lottery, playoff format, etc.) most needs to change? 1. Playoff seeding (1-16) -- 18% 2. Draft (Better combine or more medical info) -- 11%     Draft Lottery -- 11%     Free agency (Before Draft or no moratorium) -- 11%     Schedule (Fewer games, no back-to-backs) -- 11% Also receiving votes: Conference realignment, Draft one-and-done rule, Eliminate tanking, Extra foul in overtime, FIBA goaltending, Increased control of G League players, Instant replay, Midseason tournament, No FGA for half-court heaves, Roster size, Tampering Last year: Playoff seeding – 18%.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2019

Dragic ‘doubtful’ for Miami must-win NBA Finals game

Goran Dragic remains doubtful for the Miami Heat’s must-win NBA Finals game-five clash with the Los Angeles Lakers, coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday. Dragic, who has not played since limping out of game one with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, is likely to miss a game that Miami must win to keep […] The post Dragic ‘doubtful’ for Miami must-win NBA Finals game appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

LeBron James posts 35 points, 16 boards, Lakers beat Mavs

By The Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — LeBron James had 35 points and 16 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma scored a season-high 24 points starting in place of injured star Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers went up big early in a 129-114 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). James was dominant from the start to help the Lakers build a 22-point lead in the first half, which ended with Luka Doncic in a ripped jersey on a frustrating night for the 20-year-old Dallas phenom against the player he grew up admiring. Doncic, who had played James just about even while the Lakers took two of first three in the season series, had 25 points and 10 rebounds but ripped his jersey late in the first half after one of his 11 misses (8 of 19). Davis missed the first game of a road back-to-back after taking a nasty fall in a win over the Knicks in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Both leading men — James and Doncic — were without their star sidekicks for the final regular-season meeting as both fell short of a triple-double after both had one in the previous meeting in Dallas. They had seven assists apiece. Tim Hardaway finished with 22 point for Dallas. NETS 117, HEAT 113 NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 26 points and had a career-high 14 assists as Brooklyn beat Miami and snapped a seven-game losing streak. Rodions Kurucs scored 19 points and Taurean Prince added 17 for Brooklyn. Jarrett Allen finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for his team-high 17th double-double of the season. Jimmy Butler scored 33 points and Bam Adebayo added 22 for the Heat. Miami's Duncan Robinson missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 5.7 seconds left. PELICANS 123, KNICKS 111 NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 28 points, Jaxson Hayes had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and New Orleans beat the Knicks. Lonzo Ball had 15 points and 11 assists, and Josh Hart added 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans won for the seventh time in nine games. Taj Gibson led the Knicks with a season-high 19 points, shooting 8 for 8 from the field. RJ Barrett scored 16 points, and Reggie Bullock and Elfrid Payton finished with 15. The Knicks lost their fifth straight following a season-best three-game winning streak. BUCKS 127, KINGS 106 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Khris Middleton had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe scored 24 and Milwaukee beat Sacramento despite an off night for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee improved to an NBA-best 34-6 and extended the best start in franchise history. Antetokounmpo was held to a season-low 13 points and 10 rebounds. The reigning MVP took only nine shots and picked up three of his four fouls in the first half. Donte DiVincenzo had a season-high 18 points and Sterling Brown added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is 16-4 on the road. De’Aaron Fox had 19 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes scored 19 before limping off the court and into the locker room late in the fourth quarter. CLIPPERS 109, WARRIORS 100 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, Lou Williams added 21 and the Clippers rallied from a 10-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to defeat Golden State. The Warriors had a 93-83 lead going into the final 12 minutes before Los Angeles went on a 21-6 run the first six-plus minutes of the quarter to take control. Montrezl Harrell keyed the rally with seven of his 11 points as the Clippers went 8 of 12 from the field and forced the Warriors to go 3 of 11. The Clippers defeated the Warriors in two straight games for the first time since 2011. Glenn Robinson III and Omari Spellman scored 17 apiece for Golden State, which has lost its last seven. Alec Burks added 16. WIZARDS 111, HAWKS 101 WASHINGTON (AP) — Jordan McRae scored 29 points, Troy Brown Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington overcame a poor shooting performance to beat Atlanta. Atlanta, which has the worst record in the NBA, lost for the 14th time in 16 games. Trae Young, who had 42 points in a defeat to Houston on Wednesday, led the Hawks with 19 points. John Collins had his second straight double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta, and Alex Len had 10 points and 14 rebounds. PACERS 116, BULLS 105 CHICAGO (AP) — Myles Turner set season highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds, and short-handed Indiana withstood a huge effort by Zach LaVine to beat Chicago. The Pacers overcame 43 points by LaVine and escaped with the victory after Chicago rallied from 16 down to cut the deficit to four in the closing minutes. T.J. Warren scored 17 for Indiana after being fined $25,000 by the NBA for an altercation with Miami's Jimmy Butler on Wednesday night. The Pacers picked up their second win in three games even though they were missing two of their top players, with Malcolm Brogdon out with strep throat and Domantas Sabonis nursing a sore left knee. LaVine finished six points shy of his career high set at Charlotte in November. Coby White scored 23, but the Bulls lost their sixth straight — their worst skid since a 10-game slide in December and January last season. GRIZZLIES 134, SPURS 121 MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 24 points, Ja Morant added 22 points and a season-high 14 assists and Memphis won its fourth-straight game. Dillon Brooks also scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 21 as six Memphis players scored in double figures. DeMar DeRozan matched his season-high with 36 points, and added nine assists for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes each scored 21 points, combining to go 9 of 17 from 3-point range. Rudy Gay added 13 points. JAZZ 109, HORNETS 92 SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocked shots, leading Utah to a victory over Charlotte. Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 20 points off the bench. Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points and Georges Niang chipped in 15 while matching his career high with five 3-pointers. Utah has won eight straight games and 13 of 14. Terry Rozier scored 23 points to lead the Hornets. Miles Bridges added 11. Charlotte finished with 21 turnovers, leading to 24 points for the Jazz. The Hornets have lost three straight. The Jazz swept the regular-season series with the Hornets for the second straight season. SUNS 98, MAGIC 94 PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 24 points, including late back-to-back 3-pointers, and Ricky Rubio came up with a steal and a free throw to help Phoenix rally past Orlando. The Suns scored the final eight points of the game after Nikola Vucevic knocked down a 3 from the top of the arc with 59.4 seconds left, giving the Magic a 94-90 lead, Orlando's largest of the game. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 22 points and Rubio added 11 points, 10 assists and three steals. Evan Fournier led Orlando with 28 points, 16 in the second half. Vucevic added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Terrence Ross scored 18 off the bench......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

Whiteside’s return to Miami doesn’t go exactly as planned

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Pres MIAMI (AP) — Hassan Whiteside had a big game and the Miami Heat won. That wouldn’t have seemed so conflicting a year ago. Whiteside is having perhaps the best season of his career now, in his first year with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Heat, at 26-10, are off to their best start since the final season of the LeBron James era in Miami. And on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time), it was Whiteside vs. the Heat for the first time since the trade that sent him to the Trail Blazers this past summer. Whiteside had 21 points and 18 rebounds. The Heat won anyway, 122-111. “It’s been surreal,” Whiteside said of his return to Miami. “It feels so different, you know? Even coming into the building a different way. You know, I didn’t know which way to go. I’ve never even been in this away locker room. I didn’t know what it even looked like.” He got booed early and often by Heat fans, and Whiteside seemed genuinely confused by that postgame. He wasn’t always the most popular Heat player -- despite winning the league rebounding title one season in Miami and winning the blocked shots title another year -- and was often criticized over a perception that he wasn’t always giving his all. Last summer, Whiteside shouted “We’ve got shooters” on social media after the trade to Portland. Heat fans perceived that as a shot at their team, and serenaded him with that same chant in the latter moments of Sunday’s win. “I didn’t really realize they felt it was a diss,” Whiteside said. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he still remembers a 90-minute meeting with Whiteside several years ago inside a lounge at the team’s arena. From that meeting, the Heat decided that Whiteside was worth trying to resurrect after years of him bouncing around internationally and in what’s now called the G League. “I developed a strong relationship with Hassan because I’ve arguably spent as much time with him as any other player and I love his story,” Spoelstra said. “I really do. I love guys that have to overcome something or people discount them.” Whiteside hasn’t had to overcome much this season. He’s playing exceptionally well. The NBA started officially recording blocked shots in 1973 and since then only seven players have finished a full season averaging what Whiteside is averaging now -- 15.9 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.8 blocked shots. It’s pretty much a who’s-who of big men: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (he did it three times), Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Walton, Dwight Howard, Elvin Hayes and Bob McAdoo. Whiteside picked a perfect time to be in their company, given that this is a contract year. His $98 million, four-year deal that the Heat gave him with no reservation is about to run out. And he has been markedly better in every category this season. Points, up. Shooting, up. Free throw shooting, up an astounding 32% -- he was one of the NBA’s worst last season at 45% and is up to 77% this season. Blocks, up. Minutes, up. He says it is a byproduct of more opportunity. Whiteside wanted to play more minutes in Miami. Portland is giving him a workload to his liking. “I’m just out there longer,” Whiteside said. “I’m just out there playing 30 minutes a game. I never felt like my production changed. You guys know better than me. You all can run the per-36 minutes. You can run it every year for my NBA career and it’s going to pretty much stay around the same.” He’s right. Starting with the 2014-15 season, Whiteside’s per-36 averages have ranged basically between 18 to 20 points per game, 15 to 18 rebounds per game. “People here in Miami know what he is capable of doing,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “And he’s been doing that for us.” Being traded last summer -- it was a four-team trade, the principal moves being ones that brought Jimmy Butler from Philadelphia to Miami, Meyers Leonard from Portland to Miami, sent Josh Richardson from Miami to Philadelphia and Whiteside from Miami to Portland -- reminded Whiteside of the business side of the game. So is the noise that’s percolating now. Whiteside is in the final year of his $98 million, four-year deal that he signed with Miami. Expiring contracts, like his, tend to be attractive trade chips. The Blazers are only 15-22 this season and could be looking to deal, and have been one of the teams believed to have interest in Cleveland’s Kevin Love. Whiteside’s deal would seem to work if Cleveland wanted to move Love to Portland. If Whiteside is hearing any whispers of what may or may not happen, he insists that he’s not being affected. “All I can control is what I can control,” Whiteside said. “I just play.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2020

In appreciation: David Stern made the NBA what it is today

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press David Stern once predicted that the NBA would have a division in Europe within 10 years. A few years later, he said it again. And a few years after that, he said it yet again. It never happened. That was a rarity in Stern’s life and career. Usually, when he wanted something, he got it. He wanted the league to grow under his watch, and it did. He wanted the game to grow internationally, and it did. He wanted players to dress more professionally, and the pregame show in locker rooms now is akin to a fashion show. He was a basketball tour de force, doing it in suits and wing-tips instead of jerseys and sneakers, and unquestionably is why the league is so successful today. Stern died Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), nearly three weeks after a brain hemorrhage made the end inevitable. He was the NBA’s commissioner for exactly 30 years — from Feb. 1, 1984, through Feb. 1, 2014 — and turned a league that was having its biggest games shown on tape delay into the multibillion-dollar global juggernaut that it is today. “We all sit here and we have these jobs and we all owe a great deal and a great debt to him for making all of our lives better,” Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas said. “He truly was, and is, the father of what the NBA is now.” Thomas said those words on NBA TV — which, without Stern, probably wouldn’t exist. Stern began building the bridge that connected the NBA and China, which has been a mutually beneficial relationship financially and likely will remain that way once the rift that was born this fall over political differences calms down. He took the league from 23 to 30 teams. He championed the birth of the WNBA. “For those of us who have made a life from this league, words don’t do justice to what he meant,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank wrote on his personal Twitter account. “He was unique, brilliant, tough but maybe most importantly he stood by what he believed every time no matter the personal cost.” Stern never sought popularity. He seemed to embrace conflict. When a tough decision had to be made — vetoing the trade of Chris Paul, for example — he welcomed it and accepted the repercussions from whoever was going to complain. He also was the calm in the eye of storms, such as leading the support for Magic Johnson after the Los Angeles Lakers great retired in 1991 after being diagnosed with HIV. “When he first took over, the league was not as popular as it is now,” Hall of Famer Grant Hill said. “There were challenges. There were problems. And I think him coming in ... his vision, his leadership, he fought for the game of basketball. He fought for this league. He had a vision that this league could really transcend, that it could reach all people.” He was right, and his words carried enormous weight. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra remembers when the Portland Trail Blazers — his father, Jon Spoelstra, was a member of that team’s front office — drafted Arvydas Sabonis and Drazen Petrovic, international talents who might not have ever gotten to the NBA if not for Stern. Jon Spoelstra had a million of those stories for his son, telling him that Stern was “a brilliant visionary.” So when Erik Spoelstra became coach of the Heat in 2008, he found himself in a meeting with Stern and still acknowledges being intimidated. “But I went up to him and told him that, and just to let him know that there are a lot of people that really benefited from his vision and his leadership,” Spoelstra said. Stern also had the gift of being simultaneously gruff and gracious. He was acerbic and often acted like the smartest guy in the room, usually because he was the smartest guy in the room. He ruled with an iron fist. If you worked for the NBA, you worked for him and you were going to do things his way. That was his cover, anyway. He tried to hide that he had an enormous heart. When an NBA employee’s family member was diagnosed with brain cancer, Stern got word of it and had that relative in front of experts at renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center within hours after making a couple of calls. When staffers would accompany Stern on business trips, he’d act like a flight attendant, completely ignoring the fact that the private plane actually had a flight attendant. He’d ask his travel companions if they wanted anything, over and over. He morphed from boss to host on those trips. And when he got wind that another league employee desperately wanted to meet country singer Toby Keith, Stern found himself at an event with the recording star. He told Keith someone wanted to meet him, called the employee over and surely enjoyed how tongue-tied she was by the surprise encounter. There are tons of stories like those that will be told in the coming days. Most NBA players towered over him, of course, but Stern is unquestionably one of the league’s — and one of the game’s — absolute giants. “We owe him,” the National Basketball Players Association said. “And we will miss him.” ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020

The NBA’s East is loaded at the top, and might stay that way

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press The West is used to being loaded at the top. The East, not so much. But a new year is arriving with a new look in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The league will wake up on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) — the first day of 2020 — with six teams with winning percentages of .600 or better, the first time that’s been the case on New Year’s Day since 1998. “This is a tough part of the country, a tough part of our league,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. He didn’t say “finally,” but he could have. Just last spring, Brooklyn got the No. 6 seed in the East playoffs at 42-40. This season, it won’t be inconceivable if two teams in the East reach 50 wins and start the playoffs on the road anyway — which would be amazing, considering that every 50-win team in the East since 1998 has gotten a top-four seed. Has there been a power shift from one conference to another? And can what seems to be happening in the East race last until April? “My gut feel is, I think it can,” Brown said. “To your overall question, is there a power shift, I’m biased but I think quite possibly.” That one could easily be argued. Going into 2020, the basic structure of the standings in each conference is basically the same. There’s a team that has broken a bit away atop the pack — Milwaukee in the East; the Los Angeles Lakers out West. Then there are five teams jostling for spots 2 through 6 — Miami, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and Indiana in the East; Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston, Dallas and Utah in the West. There’s a team around .500 hovering in seventh — Brooklyn in the East, Oklahoma City in the West. And then there’s a below-.500 team in eighth — Orlando in the East, Portland in the West. The East and West have split the last eight NBA Finals, so it’s not like there’s been a huge disparity in talent at the very top. But the West, top to bottom, has unquestionably been the stronger side of the league for some time. Things seem different now. “It’s really competitive and you have to like this,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You have to enjoy it as a competitor. People have been disparaging the Eastern Conference for so long. You have some really good teams here in the East and the teams are proving it.” DECADE IN REVIEW There were seven different franchises with at least one NBA championship in the 2010s, Golden State leading the way with three followed by Miami with two. San Antonio was one of the five clubs with one — but a case could be made for the Spurs being the team of the decade. The Spurs had the most wins in the 2010s, whether just counting the regular season or adding both the regular season and the playoffs together. Oklahoma City was No. 2 in regular season wins, followed by Golden State, Houston and Miami. The fewest wins? That would be Sacramento, followed by Minnesota, Brooklyn, Phoenix and New York. But a special decade-long award for futility should go to Detroit and Sacramento — the only teams in the NBA that didn’t win a playoff game in the 2010s. The Pistons have lost 14 consecutive postseason contests since winning Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference finals. Other high marks from the 2010s: Most points — Devin Booker scored 70 points for Phoenix against Boston on March 24, 2017. Most rebounds — Kevin Love had 31 for Minnesota against New York on Nov. 12, 2010. Most assists — Rajon Rondo had 25 for New Orleans against Brooklyn on Dec. 27, 2017. Most steals — Lou Williams had 10 for the Los Angeles Clippers against Utah on Jan. 20, 2018, and Draymond Green had 10 for Golden State against Memphis on Feb. 10, 2017. Green’s was part of a most unique triple-double; he also had 11 rebounds and 10 assists, but only four points. Most 3-pointers — Klay Thompson made 14 for Golden State against Chicago on Oct. 29, 2018. Most blocks — Poor Chicago. JaVale McGee had 12 for Washington against the Bulls on March 15, 2011, and Hassan Whiteside had 12 for Miami against the Bulls on Jan. 25, 2015. THE WEEK AHEAD A game to watch each day this week (PHL times listed): Wednesday, Dallas at Oklahoma City — The final game of the decade, and two West teams playing well. Thursday, Orlando at Washington — The first game of the decade, and two East teams that are ailing. Friday, Toronto at Miami — The Raptors and Heat are in the thick of the race, likely surprising many. Saturday, Philadelphia at Houston — Game 5 in a 10-game run of the 76ers are facing likely playoff teams. Sunday, San Antonio at Milwaukee — Begins a Gregg Popovich-Mike Budenholzer home-and-home that ends Monday. Next Monday, New York at L.A. Clippers — The Knicks have lost 13 of their last 14 against Doc Rivers’ club. Next Tuesday, Denver at Atlanta — The Nuggets, very quietly, are rolling along. The Hawks are not. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

The King reigns: LeBron James is AP’s male athlete of decade

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart. “That’s all?” LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief. No, that’s not all. Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called “King” spent the last decade reigning over all others — with no signs of slowing down. James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. “You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James, who turns 35 Monday, told the AP. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.” Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating the sprints at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was fourth and Michael Phelps — the U.S. swimmer who retired as history’s most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth. James was revealed as the winner Sunday, one day after Serena Williams was announced as the AP’s female athlete of the decade. In his 17th season, he’s on pace to lead the league in assists for the first time while remaining among the NBA’s scoring leaders. “When LeBron James is involved,” Denver coach Michael Malone said, “I’m never surprised.” Including playoffs, no one in the NBA scored more points than James in the last 10 years. He started the decade 124th on the league’s all-time scoring list. He’s now about to pass Kobe Bryant for No. 3. No. 2 Karl Malone and No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are within reach. Is Abdul-Jabbar in his sights? Is catching him the new decade’s goal? “I would be lying if I said I don’t see it,” James said. “Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ ... I’m not doing that because I’ve never done that with my career. I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.” His work ethic, even now, makes even those closest to him marvel. Here’s a typical day this past summer for James, who remains obsessed with working even though fame and fortune found him long ago: He’d wake up at 3 a.m. and be at the Warner Bros. lot by 3:45 — where a weight room and court, built just for him, were waiting. He’d be lifting by 4 a.m., getting shots up by 5:30 and be ready to start another day of shooting the remake of “Space Jam” that he has been planning for years by 7 a.m. “That’s who he is,” said Mike Mancias, one of the longest-tenured and most trusted members of James’ inner circle, tasked for more than 15 years with keeping James fit. “He does whatever it takes when it comes to fulfilling his commitments to everything — especially his game and his craft.” The 2010s for James started with “The Decision,” the widely criticized televised announcement of his choice to leave Cleveland for Miami. (Lost in the hubbub: The show raised more than $2.5 million for charity.) He was with the Heat for four years, went to the NBA Finals all four times with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, finally won the title in 2012 — “it’s about damn time,” he said at the trophy celebration — and led the way in a Game 7 win over San Antonio to go back-to-back the following year. “He grew immensely here as a leader,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He impacted winning as much as with his leadership as he did with his talent. I think that was the most important thing he learned with us. And he’s been able to take that to different franchises and continue using that as a template.” Cleveland was devastated when he left. It forgave him. James returned home in 2014, took Cleveland to four consecutive finals, then led the Cavaliers to the 2016 title and came up with one of the biggest plays of his life by pulling off a chase-down block of Golden State’s Andre Iguodala in the final seconds of Game 7 of that series. And in 2018, he was off to LA. Going Hollywood made so much sense — he’s making movies, has a production company, has a program called “The Shop” as part of his ‘Uninterrupted’ platform featuring an array of guests from Drake to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed a bill on the show that will allow college athletes to get paid for the use of their likeness and sign endorsement deals. “There’s a lot of moments from this decade that would be up there, winning the two Miami championships, winning a championship in Cleveland, the chase-down block,” James said. “But the best moment? Definitely marrying Savannah. That would be No. 1.” James and longtime partner Savannah Brinson got married six years ago. They already had two sons — both are very good basketball players already — and added a daughter in 2014. James also spent most of the last decade as a lightning rod for critics. He used his voice often on social matters, speaking out after the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He supported Colin Kaepernick’s methods of protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Most recently, he was criticized by many — including top U.S. lawmakers — for his remarks after Houston general manager Daryl Morey sparked a massive rift between the NBA and China by sending out a tweet supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “I don’t live in regret,” James said. “There’s no moment in this last decade that I wish I could have back. If a situation was bad or you feel like you could have done better, then I learned from it.” He doesn’t know how much longer he’ll play. He laments missing time with his children. His “I Promise” school that opened in 2018 in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, has been an immediate success story, and he wants to see that enterprise continue growing. Some love him. Some don’t. He doesn’t mind. “When you believe in your calling or you believe in yourself, then it doesn’t matter what other people say or how other people feel,” James said. “And if you allow that to stop you or deter you from your mission, then you don’t get anywhere.” And in the 2010s, nothing deterred James......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

LeBron James, Anthony Davis bring new Heat to L.A.

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The relationship they formed, nurtured and maximized to the championship fullest was captured in all its glory nine years ago this month on a sensational play that took maybe six seconds. Dwyane Wade grabbed a loose ball and ran up court, leading a rather routine fast break and then, chemistry happened. He gently tossed a short, no-look bounce pass that for a microsecond went to a ghost, at least until LeBron James, trailing the play in full sprint, appeared and scooped the ball. Wade didn’t see LeBron behind him … he just knew. LeBron didn’t call for the ball … he just knew. As LeBron elevated and cupped the ball for a tomahawk dunk, Wade kept running forward and spread his arms before the crowd, as if to say: This is how we do it. That finish was immortalized by an Associated Press photographer seated underneath the rim named Morry Gash. The image instantly went viral, causing witnesses to gasp at the image’s snarky, arrogant and amazing glory. Mostly, though, that sequence symbolized the blossoming bond between LeBron and Wade early in their time together with the Miami Heat. 9 years ago today. #L3GENDARY pic.twitter.com/Yc7iQDezlM — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 6, 2019 And, it suggests what’s currently percolating in Los Angeles with the Lakers. LeBron has a new basketball boo, and the process with Anthony Davis is starting to look strikingly familiar. Theirs is an already devastating combo that has the Lakers scorching through the early NBA season with the best record in the West. ‘Bron and The Brow are both entertaining and effective, a combination that certainly works in L.A. (which expects both). This is more of the peanut butter-and-jelly variety than fingernail meets blackboard in terms of two forces blending in beautifully. They share the same ideas about how to play the game as one, when to defer (and when take over) and why there’s no need for ego or one-upmanship. It’s a tag-team, your-turn-my-turn type of existence, sprinkled with an ability to recognize each other’s tendencies. Oh, and it helps that they like each other as people. Longtime Laker witnesses might feel the urge to compare this to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, but a more apt linkage is LeBron and Wade, whose on-court kinship spilled over into their personal lives, and to this day they still refer to each other as brothers from other mothers. “We had something special,” James said. And now, with Davis? “Everything’s coming along great, maybe even quicker than we thought.” As the Lakers prepare to play Friday in Miami (Saturday, PHL time) -- the site of so many LeBron-Wade connections -- the NBA’s new combo is just getting ramped up. No All-Star duo in the league is generating more wins, sizzle and per-game production than LeBron and Davis, who average a combined 53.6 points, 15.8 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game. They’re durable, too: LeBron has played in every game while Davis has missed only one. Much of this was expected when the Lakers traded for Davis and gave LeBron someone who was arguably his equal in terms of talent. The pairing seemed ideal because Davis is a low-maintenance star who doesn’t always demand the ball and keeps his ego hidden -- necessary tools when one plays in LeBron’s orbit. They also tend to cover each other’s weaknesses. For example, Davis is a superior defender while LeBron, who turns 35 in a few weeks, picks his spots defensively. Davis took the Pelicans to the semifinals once, while LeBron has played in eight of the last nine Finals. One other critical element worth noting is this: LeBron is anxious to grab at least another title here with his third team, which would be unprecedented. Davis is hungry for his first. They share the same quest, then, but approach it from different angles. Given where they are in their careers, there was a hunch they were made for each other. After 25 games, this notion has proven correct. “They hit the ground running right from the start of training camp,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “Both on and off the basketball court, their chemistry has been seamless.” LeBron seemed determined to make this work after his first season in L.A. lacked a true co-star and was slowed by a groin injury. His basketball relationship with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland took a sharp turn three years ago when Irving demanded a trade, mainly to escape LeBron’s enormity and strike out on his own. LeBron, like almost everyone else, was stunned as to why someone was so willing to bail on an all-time great. That raised this issue: while LeBron is one of the most accommodating superstars in NBA history, other stars in their prime would rather be the lead singer on another team. Davis seems cut from another cloth, however. And besides, when LeBron eventually retires (he has two seasons left on his contract), Davis will become a solo king if he so desires. This process was months in the making as LeBron made a point to align himself with Davis off the court since last summer. He welcomed him into his home, inviting him to events and generally magnetizing himself to Davis, who in turn did the same. This same approach worked for LeBron and Wade in 2010, but back then, LeBron was joining Wade’s team and was careful not to overstep any boundaries. “What I’m seeing here is how much time they spent together away from the court last summer and how that has impacted what’s going on right now,” Vogel said. “Even in film sessions the two are always together. They’re just building that friendship that LeBron and Dwyane had. LeBron has done everything in his power to make sure he’s going out of his way to make Anthony comfortable.” Wade and LeBron became fast friends because their personalities were similar and therefore clicked. Wade admitted that, at times, it was difficult to ride shotgun that first season together. But he respected LeBron’s talents too much to make that an issue. It all worked as they won two championships and made four Finals together. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra recognizes what’s developing in L.A. and says about LeBron: “He’s able to morph into whatever he needs to be to bring out the best from other players. This just fits like a glove with LeBron and AD, the way they work well together. Their skill sets compliment each other.” The Bron-Brow combo is causing defensive hell for teams: Which one gets a double team? Do you put a big player on LeBron and a shorter one on Davis or vice versa? Last Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the two combined for 82 points against the Timberwolves, which came two nights after they dropped 70 on the Blazers. Scoring only tells so much, but the way they compliment each other is nearly perfect. LeBron handles the ball, Davis impacts the rebounding and defense. They can almost sense where the other is without looking. Together, their sneaker prints are all over the floor. “The more time you spend together, if you have the same goals in mind and you have the same drive, then organically it happens,” LeBron said. Much of this is new to Davis, who only got a half-season’s worth of playing time with an All-Star (DeMarcus Cousins) his six seasons with New Orleans. He welcomes the change of synergy because playing next to LeBron ups his championship odds. “I mean, he’s a tremendous teammate, great talent and takes a lot of pressure off not only me, but everyone else,” Davis said. “It’s fun to be on the floor with him.” That’s evident from everyone who has watched this relationship take root and grow. “It’s there, and I think it’s genuine, too, from what I can see,” said former Lakers great and James Worthy, now a TV analyst for the club. “They’ve known each other for a while now, and they have that same drive and vision about the game and how it’s played. I think they know how to monitor each other and the team constructively to where the cohesiveness remains tight.” What’s frightening is the process hasn’t even reached a half-season. The wavelength LeBron and Wade once enjoyed can be matched with Davis, and it’s on pace to be fully maximized by the playoffs. The better it gets for Bron and Brow, the better it is for their supporting cast. “For me and AD, it starts with us,” LeBron said. “If we’re on the same page it makes it easier for the rest of the ball club.” There’s an important duplication taking place in Los Angeles, from LeBron-Wade to LeBron-Davis. The initial results are decisively promising. If this all keeps up, might multiple championships also follow? Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2019

Heat suspend Dion Waiters for 10 games

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — Dion Waiters has been handed a 10-game suspension by the Miami Heat, with the team citing multiple examples of conduct detrimental to the team as the reason for his second banishment of the season. The suspension was announced Sunday (Monday, PHL time). It comes three days after Waiters, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, was treated for a medical emergency that started on the Heat charter flight Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Waiters, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor the player has confirmed details publicly, ingested at least one cannabis-infused edible and had a reaction serious enough that medical attention was required when the plane landed in Los Angeles. “We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the Heat said in a statement. Waiters was also suspended for Miami’s season opener after a series of incidents in the preseason and conflicts with coach Erik Spoelstra. His reaction on social media to the first suspension was also not well-received by Miami officials, and Waiters has not appeared in any of the nine Heat games so far this season. The 10-game suspension, which will likely cost Waiters at least $834,483 in salary, began with Miami’s loss at the Lakers on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). The earliest he could return to Miami’s lineup would be Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time), when the Heat visit Brooklyn. But that would seem most unlikely, and Waiters’ future with the franchise is in serious doubt. It’s unclear what, if any, contact he will have with the team during the suspension. Waiters is in his fourth Heat season, the on-court portion of that best remembered by his game-winning 3-pointer to beat Golden State 105-102 on Jan. 23, 2017 — part of Miami’s 30-11 finish that season after an 11-30 start. He was rewarded that summer with a four-year contract worth $47.3 million, plus about $5 million more in possible incentives for playing a certain number of games. Waiters has yet to even get close to that bonus money, and he would have needed to play in 70 of Miami’s 73 remaining games to claim the extra $1.1 million at stake this season. That is obviously not going to happen. Waiters has never made more than 46 appearances in a year since coming to Miami. He’s been in only 120 games with the Heat, missing many because of ankle injuries and surgery on his ankle and foot. Waiters is a career 13.2-point scorer and has averaged 14 points per game while with the Heat. Miami is off to a 6-3 start without Waiters this season, and play their next five games against teams with records currently below the .500 mark. “We are proud of how our players have started the season,” the Heat said in Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) statement. “We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2019

Hassan Whiteside rejoins Heat after scary eye injury

em>By Greg Beacham, Associated Press /em> LOS ANGELES -- Hassan Whiteside has rejoined the Miami Heat in Los Angeles one week after a scary eye injury. Whiteside was held out of Friday night's (Saturday, PHL time) game against the Lakers, but Miami coach Erik Spoelstra hopes the NBA's leading rebounder will be able to play Sunday (Monday, PHL time) against the Clippers. Whiteside got accidentally poked in the right eye by Jae Crowder in Boston on Dec. 30 (Dec. 31, PHL time), and the Heat's second-leading scorer missed his fourth straight game Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Whiteside stayed behind in Miami while the Heat embarked on their six-game trip, but the seven-foot center improved enough to join his injury-plagued club on the road. 'It's a lot better,' Whiteside said. 'The headaches went away. I'm not seeing double anymore. So I can see a lot better, and a lot of the pain went away.' Whiteside had near-constant headaches until Friday morning, but his double vision went away Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). He still has an alarming, dark-red horizontal stripe of blood on the outer sclera of his right eye, but he has been told it will go away eventually, just as a bruise does. Whiteside really doesn't want to start wearing goggles, but the Heat's $98 million man said he will consider trying that if they get him back on the court. 'They were just worried about if I got hit in it again, it could really mess with my retina,' Whiteside said. 'That could require surgery, but thankfully I didn't have a detached retina, so everything came out OK.' Whiteside averaged 17.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.24 blocked shots per game while starting the Heat's first 34 games. He had been the lone constant in a starting lineup disrupted by numerous injuries. Miami forward Justise Winslow tore the labrum in his right shoulder late in the same game at Boston, and he had surgery Thursday that's likely to sideline him for the rest of the season. The Heat had missed an NBA-high 144 combined man games due to injury and used 15 different starting lineups heading into their weekend stand at Staples Center. Miami still ended a six-game losing streak and an eight-game road skid with a 107-102 win at Sacramento on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Dion Waiters, Miami's fourth-leading scorer, started the first 16 games of the season, but missed 20 straight with a groin injury before returning on a minutes restriction in Sacramento. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Heat still struggling, and now hit road for six-game trip

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> MIAMI (AP) — When the Miami Heat return home from their road trip, the season will officially be half over. It's already seemed like a marathon. Barely seven months removed from being a game shy of the NBA's Final Four, the Heat were the first team this season to reach the 25-loss mark. Only Philadelphia and Brooklyn are keeping Miami from having the league's worst record, and it's a paper-thin buffer right now between the Heat and the cellar. Injuries have piled up as well, further adding to the struggle of rebuilding. 'It's not so much frustration,' Heat forward Justise Winslow said, talking about the team's collective mood. 'It's more just like sympathy.' Banged-up and usually beaten, the Heat start a six-game trip in Phoenix on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). The good news is that the first three games on this swing are against teams that are like the Heat, well below the .500 mark. The bad news is that Miami hasn't beaten anybody on the road in more than a month, and seems to have a different lineup every night. Just in Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) loss to Detroit alone, the Heat were without Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, Josh McRoberts and Winslow. McRoberts is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left foot, and Whiteside (scratched right eye) and Winslow (right shoulder stinger) did not travel with the team Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) — though that doesn't mean they can't meet the Heat somewhere on this trip. 'We'll get guys back,' coach Erik Spoelstra said. Dion Waiters hasn't played since late November because of a torn groin muscle; he was on the team flight Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), a sign that his return might finally be coming. Whiteside got poked in the eye during Miami's game at Boston on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), when Winslow got hurt on the final play of the game. At this rate, there will be a point where Miami starts thinking more about the future than the present. Plenty of trade talk in the next few weeks will involve the Heat, who have a ton of salary-cap space to use this summer and will undoubtedly hear from contending teams looking to add a player or two for the looming playoff runs. And unless there's some seismic improvement, Miami's NBA draft lottery odds might look pretty good as well. 'I know this about Erik's teams: They're going to play really, really hard,' Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said of Spoelstra, his longtime friend going back to when they were both part of the Heat staff. Just take some examples from Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) loss: James Johnson dove on the floor to salvage what looked like a sure turnover, setting up a three-pointer. He leaped into the Detroit bench a couple minutes later to save a ball, and the Heat got another triple out of that possession. Rodney McGruder thwarted a 4-on-1 Detroit fast break later in the game as well, though the Pistons wound up scoring on that possession. That's sort of the theme for the Heat season so far. Even when things go right, it's not right enough. 'I'm seeing the guys out there diving on the floor, making winning plays, putting their bodies out there, putting themselves out there,' captain Udonis Haslem said. 'That's how you become a championship team.' Even with Whiteside's numbers looking good — averages of 17.3 points and 14.3 rebounds per game — he's far from a lock for the All-Star team, in part because there's no true center designation in the roster-choosing process. No one currently playing for the Heat has ever been an All-Star, and it's probably reasonable to think that won't change in the next few weeks. For comparison's sake, last year's Heat lineup featured players with a combined 38 All-Star trips. Dwyane Wade's now in Chicago, Joe Johnson is in Utah, Luol Deng is with the Lakers, Amare Stoudemire is in Israel and Chris Bosh is in basketball exile, sidelined by concerns about his blood-clot situations and now seen with Heat teammates only in photos from New Year's Eve gatherings. 'It is what it is,' Winslow said. 'Take it with a grain of salt. Not going to make any excuses. We're all basketball players. We get paid to do this. We get paid to show up on time, get paid to have your brother's back on the court.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2017

Another sports battle looms

So even if the NBA wars have finally ended with the favored Los Angeles Lakers taking Game 6 over the Miami Heat in impressive fashion and the PBA just starting its own bubble war, another battle is looming in the local world of sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 14th, 2020

Lakers, Heat set stage for high-stakes NBA Finals drama

Orlando, United States --- Survive or celebrate — the stakes are the same for the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers heading into game six of the NBA Finals on Sunday (Monday Philippine time) less than 48 hours after Miami’s riveting game-five triumph......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

Lakers’ Green received death threats after NBA Finals miss

ORLANDO – Los Angeles guard Danny Green said he wasn’t fazed to receive death threats on social media after missing a late three-pointer in the Lakers’ game-five loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Green said he and fiancee Blair Bashen, a former collegiate volleyball player, had both received threats after the Lakers were unable […] The post Lakers’ Green received death threats after NBA Finals miss appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

Lakers Davis says he ll be ready for NBA Finals game six

Anthony Davis insisted he'll be ready to go on Sunday when the Los Angeles Lakers try again to close out the Miami Heat for the 2020 NBA title, despite an early injury scare in the Lakers' game-five loss on Friday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 11th, 2020

D-Day para sa Lakers?

Nakatutok na ang liyamadong Los Angeles Lakers sa pagpitas ng ika-17 titulo ngayong Sabado sa pagsabak sa Game 5 ng NBA Finals kontra nag-aasam na humirit pa na Miami Heat. Maibubulsa na ng Lakers, na nasa kanilang unang Finals matapos kapusing umabot sa post-season sa loob ng anim na taon, ang una nitong titulo sapul […] The post D-Day para sa Lakers? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 10th, 2020

Heat, Spoelstra keep competitive edge ahead of do-or-die game vs Lakers

Still missing the services of top scorer Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler and the Heat will need to work extra hard to stay alive against the equally determined Lakers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Spoelstra: Heat ready to respond

Orlando---Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra backed his team to bounce back after the Los Angeles Lakers closed in on another NBA championship on Tuesday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 7th, 2020

LeBron savors winning time after LA victory

Orlando---The Los Angeles Lakers maintained their remarkable fourth quarter winning streak as they secured the game four victory over Miami on Tuesday that left them on the brink of a 17th NBA crown......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 7th, 2020

NBA Finals: Lakers close in on title, cool off Heat

LeBron James scored 28 points as the Los Angeles Lakers moved to within one win of a 17th NBA championship on Tuesday with a 102-96 victory over the Miami Heat. Humbled by Miami in game three on Sunday, James and the Lakers came roaring back in a hard-fought defensive battle that was finely balanced until […] The post NBA Finals: Lakers close in on title, cool off Heat appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 7th, 2020